Traffic jams: Production.
Cork oak (Quercus suber L.) is a characteristic plant of the Mediterranean zone. It is grown in Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco, France, Italy and Tunisia. The leaves of this oak are evergreen and thanks to a unique cover that protects them against evaporation, they do not fall in winter. It has fruit in the form 3 cm of acorns.
For industrial needs (między innymi na korki do win) the outermost part of the bark of this tree is used (some died). The first debarking is done on trees that have reached their age 25 years. The bark of the tree is removed with patches, zabieg ten nazywany desboia, it is completely safe and does not damage the tree. It is done, when the oak's circumference reaches a minimum of 70 cm. It is carried out by experienced employees in accordance with the rules of the "cork code" determining when and how debarking can be performed.
The next debarking is done after 9-12 years, when the bark will completely grow back. During life, the procedure is repeated approx 12 times, the tree then grows old 200 do 250 years.
Cork has gained its popularity thanks to its unique property,with which other products of origin cannot compete
natural or even man-made. It has a unique structure, it is made of millions of bubbles, filled with gas with properties similar to air. The size of these bubbles is 10 do 40 micrometers, which is equal to a thousandth of a millimeter. 1 cubic centimeter of cork, it may even contain 40 millions of such cells.
The chemical composition of the cork:
45% suberdin - the main component of cork, a mixture of organic acids, is responsible for its flexibility and impermeability (for gases and liquids), it is infusible and insoluble (insoluble even in alcohol, ether, concentrated sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid);
27% lignin - the element binding the cork
12% polysaccharides - components of cell walls;
6% tannins - are responsible for the color of the cork;
5% waxes - are responsible for its impermeability
Other substances: minerals, water, etc.
This remarkable material has been called a unique raw material. It is accepted, that the Egyptians were the first to discover these extraordinary properties, Chinese and Greeks approx 3000 years before Christ. They made floats and sandals out of it, natomiast w czasach Cesarstwa Rzymskiego naturalny korek był wykorzystywany do zamykania naczyń z winem i oliwą powstały pierwsze korki do win.
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